The Corner

Pakistan

Stanley:  Soon after 9/11, National Review got a courtesy visit from some White House national-security gofer.  It was one of those occasions where you just get a couple of questions in edgewise.  Mine were:  (1) “Do we have any clue where Osama bin Laden is?”  and (2) “Does the admin. have a contingency plan for Pakistan going belly-up?” 

The WH guy went into high verbal mode, but the upshot of it all was:  (1) No, and (2) Not really.

I hope we’ve advanced some in the past five years, but have my doubts.

Pakistan is nuclear, but not yet fundamentalist.  Iran is fundamentalist, but not yet nuclear.  The chance that both things will go on being true for much longer is, I should guess, vanishingly small.

John Derbyshire — Mr. Derbyshire is a former contributing editor of National Review.

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